Boeing’s guided bomb business is moving forward with the conclusion of a successful test program, a new contract and a growing SDB II program. The test program concerned the Integrated GPS Antijam System (IGAS) for the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM).
F-16 Fighting Falcon
According to Lockheed Martin, only fighter aircraft belonging to the fifth generation “can survive and defeat the threats of tomorrow.” There are only two such aircraft, says the U.S. defense group–the F-22 Raptor and the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, now christened the Lightning II. And Lockheed Martin builds them both.
When a Mooney strayed to within eight miles of the White House in October, a flight of F-16s reportedly intercepted it and safely escorted the disoriented pilot out of harm’s way.
EADS has initiated talks with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) with a view to offering the T-50 for the Eurotrainer requirement. A team from EADS visited KAI last month to discuss the modifications that would be necessary to “Europeanize” the advanced trainer that is already in production for the RoKAF, and a return visit by a Korean delegation is planned.
Elbit Systems subsidiary Cyclone Aviation has completed its acquisition of the Aircraft Systems division of Israel Military Industries. An aircraft engineering, maintenance and upgrade specialist, Cyclone bought the IMI subsidiary to broaden its product-line offering, which now includes external fuel tanks and pylons for the F-15 and F-16 fighter jets and a vertical ejection bomb rack for the F-16.
Norway has added another €12.5 million in funding to its €23.2 million Eurofighter industrial agreement, which provides local defense companies with access and high-technology work connected with the four-nation fighter jet. The Eurofighter consortium is wooing the Norwegian air force for an order, as an F-16 replacement. Beneficiaries of the agreement include radar house Ericsson and software company EPM Technology.
During a presentation at Le Bourget on Tuesday, Lockheed Martin officials and a panel of both present and former customers extolled the virtues of the lightweight fighter that is still operating 32 years after it was originally designed.
The new combat aircraft requirement in India is a hot topic in the chalets here this week, thanks to its size and–for Boeing and Lockheed Martin–the prospect that this country could become a customer for U.S. warplanes for the very first time. Meanwhile, Lockheed seems likely to clinch the sale of 24 new F-16C/D Block 52 fighters to India’s prospective adversary, Pakistan, later this year.
The Korea Aerospace Industries/Lockheed Martin T-50 Golden Eagle could capture a large proportion of future world orders for advanced jet trainers. This transpacific joint venture made its aerial debut at the Seoul Air Show last month, and is now taking to the international stage here at Dubai 2005 this week. It is the first new, supersonic purpose-built jet trainer to fly in 40 years. The Koreans are very proud of it.
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has announced that it will modernize the 17 used F-16s that were previously provided to the Kingdom of Jordan by the U.S. This upgrade program will begin in April 2006 and will involve installation of Falcon-UP, Falcon Star and other Lockheed Martin mid-life upgrade (MLU) modifications of these aircraft.